A Hanukkah Message for Consumers

Given that TheKosherQuestion.com has a fundamental purpose in making kosher awareness an inclusive matter for all consumers regardless of faith and identity, it is necessary to explore the dietary laws of Judaism. And since this is the season of Hanukkah, the KosChertified? Staff examined this Jewish holiday by reading numerous newspaper articles on the subject dating back to 1904 in order to find a deeper meaning as it relates to The Kosher Question. You’d be glad to know that we discovered a profound rabbinical message that connects the Kashrus dietary laws that are imposed on us today with the 1904 interpretation of the Festival of Lights – Hanukkah.

It was in The Wilkes-Barre Record (of Pennsylvania), December 6th, 1904, that we came across the article “The Hanukkah Festival” that outlined a sermon given by Rabbi Dr. Joseph Krauskopf. There was no mention in this 115 year old message regarding the miracle of the oil and candles staying lit longer than usual. Instead, the entirety of this sermon was centered on the Maccabeean victory for religious liberty: “It must certainly fill a people with pride to see its youth consecrating its shrines of patriotism to its greatest patriot, and kindle lights in memory of a hero’s birth, and in celebration of his valorous achievements.”

The rabbi concluded: “let the lights ye kindle in memory of the brave Maccabees send forth unto our brethren, the whole world over, the message that, proud of the valiant deeds of our fathers, and mindful of our obligations to prove ourselves worthy descendants of a noble ancestry, we shall sacredly guard our precious heritage, and valiantly defend it against external foe and internal danger.”

My oh my, how this 1904 sermon differs from the Hanukkah message that consumers view on the television news or read about today. But there is an important link to kosher certification and consumers, and it is this: Today’s supermarkets are predominantly kosher certified, whether consumers want it or not. It involves mechanisms unseen within the manufacturing companies, the distribution chains, the kosher agencies, the ad agencies and the supermarkets themselves. This modernized process to kosher-certify everything Talmudically possible will continue and expand until consumers fight for religious liberty.

Just as the Maccabeeans revolted against the Hellenists of Greek antiquity to preserve Judaism, consumers will have to rally behind their Judas Maccabius and fight (in legal and non-violent ways) to keep any part of their sustenance NOT Kosher Certified – NKC. Finding products free from kosher certification can be frustrating, just as the Orthodox Jews of 195bc were frustrated with the pagan religions and cultures of the Greeks. Clearly, the coin has flipped, and the religious laws of Judaism will rule with supremacy in modern times unless someone dares take a stand for religious liberty in the food and other products they buy.

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